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Gaza truce comes into effect after week of bloodshed

Published on Nov 22, 2012 6:04 AM
Palestinians celebrate the beginning of the truce with Israel in Rafah town in the southern Gaza Strip on Nov 21, 2012. -- PHOTO : AFP

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) - A ceasefire came into effect on Wednesday in and around Gaza after a week of cross-border violence between Israel and Palestinian militants that killed at least 160 people.

Gaza City's streets were dark and deserted in the minutes after the truce began at 1900 GMT (3am Singapore time), but soon after people poured out of their homes to hail the "victory" as the ceasefire appeared to hold.

Heavy celebratory gunfire could be heard throughout the Gaza Strip, and residents also released fireworks into the night sky, where Israeli drones still buzzed overhead.

"The resistance has triumphed," some shouted, alongside chants of "Allahu akbar (God is greatest)." Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr of Egypt, which brokered the ceasefire after marathon talks, announced the cessation of hostilities at a joint news conference in Cairo with United States (US) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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